A Marine’s journey

I know this is not about tradeshows or exhibits or business, but it is such an incredible story that happened close to home that I wanted to share it.

A little background:  My husband’s father passed away a year ago on July 4th. Independence Day.  He was a decorated Marine who served during World War II, so if he had to go, that was pretty perfect timing, considering. 

Here’s the story:  My husband’s Mom is 84, still lives by herself and works every day.  She came home last Monday to find the arcadia door smashed in and the house ransacked by thieves.  We are pretty sure she surprised them when she opened the garage and they escaped out the back door.  She called my husband who went to her house to comfort her and review the damage.  Drawers were emptied, closets opened, jewelry and money gone.  The house was a mess with glass everywhere. The police were on their way.  After a thorough inventory they had another surprise.  Dad was gone.  The burglers actually stole the beautiful cremation urn that rested on the table in the living room.  Its finely crafted shape and blue velvet drawstring bag must have made it look very valuable.  Unfortunatly the thief did not realize the true value was in it’s beloved contents. Can you believe that??  On Tuesday, which just happened to be Veterans day, I am at work telling this story to a business associate who owns a Public Relations firm.  She was taken with the incredible details and the irony of the date.  She immediately had an idea for getting the urn back.  She called her assistant who made a few phone calls and in 20 minutes I had five TV stations on the phone begging to speak to the victim, come to the house to view the scene, get a picture of the deceased or the urn, etc.  You know, a real media frenzy.  No way would my husband or his Mom agree, plus she was really scared at this point and did not want anyone to know how, why or where this happened. I certainly understood and wanted to protect her.  I also knew that some media attention might help locate the urn.  We decided that I would tell the story.  In the next hour two TV camera men and a reporter came to my business office.  I wanted to stay anonymous so they filmed me in shadow and only used my first name.  I repeated the story and described the urn with the funeral home’s address on the bottom, hoping for a good samaritan or a thief with a conscience.  Luck was with us.  Shortly after, the funeral home called and someone actually found Dad.  How fitting that although he went away on the 4th of July, he returned on Veterans Day.  Those Marines are amazing!!

SR

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1 Response to “A Marine’s journey”


  1. 1 Jackie Dishner November 23, 2008 at 10:05 am

    Susan,

    This is an amazing story. Good thing you have the media savvy thing going for you, as well as that “go get ’em” attitude.

    All my best,
    Jackie


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